By John Ferling
It was once a competition of titans: John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, heroes of the progressive period, as soon as intimate buddies, now icy antagonists locked in a fierce conflict for the way forward for the U.S.. The election of 1800 was once a thunderous conflict of a crusade that climaxed in a impasse within the Electoral collage and resulted in a trouble during which the younger republic teetered at the fringe of cave in.
Adams vs. Jefferson is the gripping account of a turning aspect in American historical past, a dramatic fight among events with profoundly varied visions of the way the country can be ruled. The Federalists, led by way of Adams, have been conservatives who preferred a powerful valuable executive. The Republicans, led by way of Jefferson, have been extra egalitarian and believed that the Federalists had betrayed the Revolution of 1776 and have been backsliding towards monarchy. The crusade itself used to be a barroom brawl every piece as ruthless as any smooth contest, with mud-slinging, scare strategies, and backstabbing. The low aspect got here while Alexander Hamilton published a devastating assault on Adams, the pinnacle of his personal celebration, in "fifty-four pages of unremitting vilification." The stalemate within the Electoral university dragged on via dozens of ballots. Tensions ran so excessive that the Republicans threatened civil battle if the Federalists denied Jefferson the presidency. ultimately a mystery deal that modified a unmarried vote gave Jefferson the White apartment. A devastated Adams left Washington earlier than sunrise on Inauguration Day, too embittered even to shake his rival's hand.
With magisterial command, Ferling brings to lifestyles either the outsize personalities and the hotly contested political questions at stake. He exhibits not only why this second was once a milestone in U.S. heritage, yet how strongly the issues--and the passions--of 1800 resonate with our personal time.
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Additional resources for Adams Vs. Jefferson: The Tumultuous Election of 1800 (Pivotal Moments in American History)
While he carefully chose fashionable 24 a da m s v s . j e f f e r s o n attire, Jefferson otherwise was given to such habitually poor posture, slumping when seated and seldom standing fully erect, that observers often remarked on his lack of grace, and one even described him as resembling an innocuous farmer. Although surpassingly amiable, he was timorous and withdrawn, and new acquaintances had to penetrate his defenses to discover his reserve of humor and charm. He was modest, indulgent, considerate, and unsurpassed as a conversationalist in the company of those with whom he was comfortable.
His law practice flourished, and in time he acquired Richmond Hill, a stately mansion overlooking the Hudson River that had been the residence of Vice President Adams when New York City was the national capital in 1789–1790. Burning the candle at both ends, Burr lived a sumptuous lifestyle, as if he wished to make up for the time lost in soldiering and studying. He filled his home with elegant furnishings, stocked the finest wines, amassed an admirable library, hired a retinue of servants, and entertained lavishly.
He left Congress at the end of 1777 and spent all but six months of the next eleven years in France, Holland, and England. 39 With peace, Adams was asked by Congress to seek commercial treaties throughout Europe, and he was soon joined in this undertaking by Jefferson, who was appointed at war’s end to undertake a similar assignment. This was not a post that Jefferson had ever imagined he would occupy. True to his earlier pledge not to return to public life, Jefferson had remained at Monticello for nearly two years after June 1781.
Adams Vs. Jefferson: The Tumultuous Election of 1800 (Pivotal Moments in American History) by John Ferling